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(electric tomato)
12/25/02 04:56 PM
Death and David Bowie  

It is interesting to note that for David Bowie to achieve his greatest success, he must write about the macabre.

Bowie first entered the world-wide musical arena when he created Major Tom, an astronaut who dies/floats in space.

Next, the title track of MWSTW dealt with characters who "died alone, a long, long time ago."

But Bowie's biggest breakthrough was with Ziggy Stardust.
It opens with earth's dying.
It closes with a suicide.
The main character of the album is killed by his fans.
Death, not Ziggy, is the star of this album.

Bowie is now realizing that he must write about death to achieve huge success. Aladdin Sane is a good album but perhaps the death references are too vague. Perhaps the average listener does not understand the characters are living on the brink of holocaust and that "Lady Grinning Soul" is an anagram of "ghoul"

So, Diamond Dogs opens up with the first line, "and in the death...." and Bowie is sure to include fleas, rats, skeletons, decay, and "death in the fog." This album is littered with hunters and poachers; it definitely has kill appeal

Bowie next became the Thin White Duke, a living skeleton whose future corpses are possiby sitting in the arenas, cheering him onward.

Ashes To Ashes is a song about death and drug addiction. Major Tom is smelling funky.

Even the Serious Moonlight concerts had Bowie dragging the skull around again.

But Bowie's greatest ode to death is Outside. This time the centerpiece of the album is a 14 year old girl whose entrails are spread across a museum entrance and her torso is impaled upside down. What a fantastic death abyss.

So Bowie must return again and again to the macabre just as the Earthling had his brains blown out and the Heathen can "feel it die".

(electric tomato)
12/25/02 06:31 PM
Re: Death and David Bowie new [re: pianocraft]  

wow...nice approach to bowies music.

(wild eyed peoploid)
12/25/02 07:09 PM
Re: Death and David Bowie new [re: pianocraft]  

Maybe you`re onto something... Fresh aproach on his music, usually death is considered only patr of Ziggy era. How about Berlin trilogy? Maybe it`s in the instrumentals. By the way, my friend was sure that the " blue, blue, electric blue " on Sound and vision was about electric chair. Not the smartest guy around...

(electric tomato)
12/26/02 12:07 PM
Re: Death and David Bowie new [re: pianocraft]  

I have to agree with iluv. nice approach to the songs. Unfortunately, I havent heard Outside, but I've heard everything else, so it all makes sense. rock on!

Jimmy: I am Cry The Beloved!
Amy: No you're not. you're just washed up.
Jimmy: Supastar!
Amy: *mumbles under breath: "Snot"*

(crash course raver)
12/26/02 10:36 PM
I'll show that dying is living beyond reason new [re: pianocraft]  

Some questions for further discussion:

What was Bowie's inspiration for using macabre in rock n roll? Was it widely used before Bowie or was he effectively the inventor of "goth rock"?

How much influence was The Velvet Underground? Totalitarianism is present in "We Are Hungry Men" (recorded in November 1966) and macabre is represented in "Please Mr Gravedigger" (recorded in October 1966). Bowie did not hear the Velvet Underground until that December (apparently one of the first people in the world - it was via his manager's acetate).

Although Bowie had already begun to cover darker themes, perhaps VU suggested that he could lose the comic book approach and write more seriously?

Mind you, I think Bowie's brand is quite distinct from that of VU. To begin with, Bowie entrenched it with fantasy and sci fi.

get bowie downunder

(cracked actor)
12/27/02 05:31 AM
Death is the only interesting thing in life new [re: pianocraft]  

All (good) writers write about death, or the dead. I think that's the only common thing they have. There comes a time in every conscious human being's life when he realizes that this life is not enough. As Brian Eno has put it: I just keep getting the feeling of 'There must be something else' or 'There must be more than this'. I think it's only logical, and natural, that all good writers eventually end up writing about death. It's the only really interesting subject.

"How do you sell soul to a souless people who sold their soul??" - Chuck D

(mortal with potential)
12/28/02 04:51 PM
Re: Death is the only interesting thing in life new [re: eraserhead]  

Well of course most artists will be inspired by death. I wouldn't say it was the overiding factor of Bowie's work. Well, no more so than space, drugs, and other cultures.

BTW. I don't mean to sound like I'm nit-picking, but the comment on 1.Outside, I thought it said that Baby Grace's torso was impaled by the bottom most orifice (I think you can guess what I mean). But did I just misunderstand it?

(electric tomato)
12/28/02 06:11 PM
Re: Death is the only interesting thing in life new [re: PojoTheChef]  

You are correct sir.

(wild eyed peoploid)
12/28/02 06:46 PM
Re: Death and David Bowie new [re: pianocraft]  


http:// http://dbsloveslave.diaryland.com/

(wild eyed peoploid)
12/28/02 07:24 PM
Re: Death and David Bowie new [re: Davidsloveslave]  

ooo... bowie writes about death because he will never die. how can immortal gods die?! it is like an unknown mystery to him. :-D

ok, seriously, i really love his interest of the dark and macabre because they mirror my own. i've heard some songs on 1. outside but i have yet to buy the cd. i want to! sounds like an interesting concept.

"Television is a one way communication."

(wild eyed peoploid)
12/28/02 07:53 PM
Re: Death and David Bowie new [re: pianocraft]  

And we can't forget the song My Death.

There is nothing sadder than a mosquito sucking on a mummy. Give it up little guy.

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